Court women were a favorite subject in Indian painting, although few images of upper-class women are actual portrait likenesses. The zenana (women's area of the palace) was the stuff of fantasy for the male artists and patrons of painting: those not privileged to enter the zenana speculated about the delights to be found inside, while the husbands—who were frequently away on military campaigns—waxed nostalgic about the happy hours they had spent there. Images of the zenana usually show the denizens whiling away their time in graceful languor, awaiting their husband's return. In this image, the entertainments overlook a Middle Eastern-style garden split into four quadrants by a fountain and water channels.
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CaptionMughal (style of). Ladies on a Terrace, ca. 1700-1710. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 13 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (34.9 x 26.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Obtained by exchange with Nasli M. Heeramaneck, 36.231
CreditObtained by exchange with Nasli M. Heeramaneck
Dimensionssheet: 13 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (34.9 x 26.0 cm); image: 8 3/16 x 6 7/16 in. (20.8 x 16.4 cm)